Tiffany Aching, Terry Pratchett Quote 2

Another quote from Terry Pratchett. Same book as last time (The Shepherd’s Crown), same portion of the book:

Granny smiled. She had always liked the scullery. It smelled of hard work being done properly. Here there were also spiders, mostly hiding around the bottles and jars on the shelves, but she thought scullery spiders didn’t really count. Live and let live.

She went outside next, to the walled paddock at the back of the cottage, to check on her goats. The itinerary of her thinking was declaring that once again all things were in their rightful place.

Satisfied, or as satisfied as a witch ever could be, Granny Weatherwax went to her beehives.

‘You are my bees,’ she said to them. ‘Thank you. You’ve given me all my honey for years, and please don’t be upset when someone new comes. I hope that you will give her as much honey as you have given me. And now, for the last time, I will dance with you.’ But the bees hummed softly and danced for her instead, gently pushing her mind out of their hive. And Granny Weatherwax said, ‘I was younger when I last danced with you. But I am old now. There will be no more dances for me.’

 

 

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Monmouth Trip

We took a trip to Monmouth today and I used the opportunity to donate a ton of vinyl LPs, tape cassettes, books and musical instruments to a selection of charity shops in the town. Shops there seem much closer to the car park than other towns and cities we like to visit and it’s far enough away from home for me to be unlikely to see the items again and be tempted to buy any back.

I’d made a commitment (to myself) to avoid buying anything, as I’m trying hard to declutter. However I did find a great book in “The Dogs’ Trust” – a hardback copy of Terry Pratchett’s “The Bromeliad” collection (‘Truckers’, ‘Diggers’ and ‘Wings’). As it is the first TP book I’ll be reading that was written specifically for children, I’m interested in how he altered his style and vocabulary.

Yer Tis:

pratchett_001
Cover graphic of ‘The Bromeliad’ by Josh Kirby. Copyright Doubleday 1998.

An absolute bargain at £2.00!

Pratchett’s Crown

I’d drafted a whole long post on the subject of this book and it being an allegory of Terry Pratchett’s own life and passing but I’ve just deleted all of it and instead will just post a quote from the sequence of Granny Weatherwax’s passing. It seems a little Disney-esque out of context here. So treat yourself to a read of the whole book to learn how it isn’t:

“This spot in the woods, Tiffany realized, would be the same. Blessed. It had been a nice day for it, she thought, if there ever was such a thing as a good day to die, a good day to be buried.

And now the birds were singing overhead, and there was a soft rustling in the undergrowth, and all the sounds of the forest which showed that life was still being lived blended with the souls of the dead in a woodland requiem.

The whole forest now sang for Granny Weatherwax.”

 

From Doubleday’s 2015 hardback edition of “The Shepherd’s Crown” Page 66.

Copyright Terry and Lyn Pratchett 2015.

2018, the latter half

It’s been a strange kind of 6 months here at EB Towers.

Job searching (and finding and still not a start date in sight) – my savings are dwindling but I’m so glad to have left teaching behind (though I still feel a profound loss of the meaningful interactions the job provided). Interviews gave me a good reason to look back favourably on my career in education.

I’ve been obsessed with CNN and MSNBC news channels on Youtube (though I have tried several times to watch Fox News as balance and failed miserably), tracking the progress of American politics, following developments since well before the mid-terms. For some reason, I’m reminded of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” which I’m currently re-reading. My viewing proved a valuable distraction from the political mess here at home in the UK.

I also watched (avidly) the first series of National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” which was very enjoyable and informative. I hesitated to watch the second series but was glad I did as that was where some interesting issues were explored. It was satisfying seeing writers explore the kinds of ideas that Ursula K Le Guin explored so thoroughly in her thought narrative “The Dispossessed” (probably my favourite adult novel). Interesting to see how NatGeo suggested Big Business concerns (for want of a better term) and lobbyists might influence colonisation of the red planet. Again, I was reminded of “Dune”!

I’ve re-read some of my favourite books / authors – UKLG, Joan AIken, Robert Westall, Rosemary Sutcliff, Helen Griffith, David Mitchell, Philip Pullman… and Frank Herbert (“Dune”).

I jumped ship on Twitter because I was checking the feed far too regularly. An ill thought out move because it stole from me a pm channel to some people with whom I rather liked communicating. I’m not impulsive by nature but that move was! Fear (of procrastination) was the mind killer!

The Earth Balm iBook and music re-recording seems to have been placed on the back burner (or the cold corner furthest from the back burner) but I’ll return to it when I’m working again – like the maxim “If you want to get a job done, give it to somebody busy”, I think I may have to take my eye of something to keep it in focus (if you understand what I mean). There is a “Dune” connection here but I think I’ve exhausted the ‘gag’.

I’ve regained a love of listening to music (usually at bed time, on headphones and while reading) including religious choral music, ‘world’ music, electronic and (occasionally) rock.

The very good bloggers of WordPress have provided me with many texts to look forward to reading when I’m once again in receipt of salary. They know who they are and I’d name them but for fear of missing somebody. Take time to go through the ‘blogs that I follow’ tiles to enter a kingdom of riches.

As always, family provides the very best reason to get up of a morning.

Hope everybody’s 2019 will bring creativity, satisfaction, calm and prosperity. Thanks to everybody anybody who has taken the time to visit this bubble in the hypertext ether. Very special thanks to anybody who came back for a second dose or more.

Good health and happiness to all.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

I’m sorry for the continued absence because of the job searching but I’m compelled to post after reading Hiro Arikawa‘s “The Travelling Cat Chronicles“. The book is a little too simply told for my preferences and quite short too. Several of the plot’s turns seemed telegraphed and it is sentimental in the extreme but it is so positive and life affirming that it’s a keeper for me. It’s joined the select band of some dozen and a half books that will stay with me until I shuffle this mortal coil. It didn’t hurt that the main narrator is a cat and I’m an unashamed feline fan. I’ll say no more as I’d prefer people read the book rather than my comments.

Hope everything is well out there in the world at large.

Dale

PS I have to add that I’ll be away from the web for longer whilst I mothball my Macs to try to end the search for paying employment.

 

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Front cover of “The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa. Copyright Penguin Books.

Hiatus and Witch Week

I really do need to take a break from my small kernel of internet activities. I need to find a paying job for financial and health reasons. I shall return in the near future, hopefully when I’ve been successful in finding employment.

Whatever my web presence (or absence), I will be taking part in the Diana Wynne Jones inspired  ‘Witch Week‘ reading of Ursula K Le Guin‘s Earthsea novel “The Other Wind‘.

Take care everybody!

 

Puffin "Earthsea Quartet" cover. Copyright David Borgen / Puffin books.
Puffin “Earthsea Quartet” cover. Copyright David Borgen / Puffin books.

 

iBook and job search

I’m currently juggling work on the e-book with job searching and personal computer swapping (and more general family life). Using an A3 sketch pad (my favourite work medium as I’ve mentioned before now), I’ve mapped out the general plot, making some significant decisions (alterations) as I did so. I’m currently using the excellent Worldbuilding website to make solid some of my more gaseous thoughts. I’m not sure how many contributors on the site are bona fide scientists  but the consensus of opinion on matters seem to give creedence to many answers.

My mate John has gifted me a copy of “The Seedling Stars” by James Blish and I’m currently reading “Surface Tension”. Although I won’t be using any of the ideas directly, I’ve had some ‘offshoot thoughts’ about aspects of my project. I love the way that James Blish explores the idea of existence in the narrative just as UKLG explores ideas about society in “The Dispossessed”. I read (present tense) both narratives as ‘thinking out loud’.

I’m considering producing the e-book as a Bandcamp CD and booklet before a multimedia iBook but will probably change my mind many times over the next few months.

orestes_jannah_02small

My friend John asked me a question about something I hadn’t considered – who is the audience for the iBook? I had to confess that I hadn’t really thought about it but that it would be suitable for all audiences. “Young adult then?” he suggested. Now I think about it, it couldn’t be anything else.